Polish satellites currently under development

Well, I guess I should perhaps write few things about our small projects. Unfortunatelly Poland has serious financial issues regarding science in general and Space Research is no different.

We currently see some progress though.

First of all - there’s BRITE-PL-SAT. Project was sent to Ministry of Science sometime in June last year (we happen to get our hands on the document). It’s part of Brite contellation of satellites - more about it can be found here: http://www.utias-sfl.net/docs/brite-iac-2006.pdf

It’s entirely based on Canadian GNB bus (20x20x20 cm) - so far we know that Poland will build two satellites for this Constellation. First one will be based on parts ordered in Canada and probe will be put togheter in here. The main reason for it is that there still aren’t many companies that have enough know-how to make those parts. Also - it’s being seen as an opportunity for young engineers to gather some experience in the field.

It is rumored that second satellite will be build using parts made entirely in Poland and will be equipped with different hardware.

Project cost is estimated to be 14.2 mln zł (~3,5 mln Euro).

The other satellite is named “PW-Sat” - it’s a small cube-sat based project designed and made by students from Warsaw University of Technology. It’s primary mission is to test a passive, sail-based deorbitation system and unique sail-deployment subsystem. Primary payload is called LEONIDAS. If all goes well, it should be launched on maiden flight of Vega. Subsystems have been tested on the ground and ground stations have been chosen for the project (in fact AUX station is in my city). If all goes well, such system (which is VERY lightweight) could be used on all LEO satellites to deoribt them faster and without using any fuel.

Solar sail deployment is achieved using nitinol wire (that has shape memory). When high current is applied it get’s warm enough for the nitinol to kick in and so it opens.

Deployment test can be seen here (engineering model)

There are also rumors about larger satellite being under development (or design?) probably to be used by military. It probably is named ‘Mazovia’.

Threads on our forum:
BRITE-PL-SAT: http://astro4u.net/yabbse/index.php/topic,15653.0.html
PW-Sat: http://astro4u.net/yabbse/index.php/topic,5210.0.html
Mazovia: http://astro4u.net/yabbse/index.php/topic,12640.0.html

If anything new shows up, I’ll let You know.